Despite Greg Collier’s last two trials ending in hung juries, the case of a horse allegedly being beaten to death will not die.
The New Mexico Supreme Court decided Monday Collier can be tried a third time for the beating death of his client’s young training prospect. The Supreme Court, in a 5-0 decision, reversed the state Court of Appeals ruling.
The opinion states “the State can retry Defendant for misdemeanor cruelty to animals without violating the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.” It also says retrial on misdemeanor cruelty to animals is not barred by the two-year period set by the statute of limitations for that offense.
Prosecutors allege Collier used violent and excessive techniques to train a yearling thoroughbred. By the state’s account, Collier was “humiliated” over his lack of progress in developing the horse named Cowboy as a racehorse. Collier allegedly attacked the colt, striking him repeatedly for about three hours. The colt reportedly died from internal injuries the next day.Collier first stood trial in 2008 for extreme cruelty to animals. Jurors could not agree on a verdict, and the judge declared a mistrial.
He was later acquitted of felony animal cruelty in 2009. The jurors deadlocked 11-1 over a misdemeanor charge.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office in Dona Ana County said no decision has been made yet on whether Collier will be tried again on animal cruelty charges.
Collier now resides in Texas.